By Jacob Shriar
We often get asked why we built Officevibe, and what the real benefits of a platform like this are.
Officevibe is a team-building platform that uses gamification.
There are hundreds of activities that can be done on a daily basis, and then employees can get points for those activities. There are leaderboards, badges, and other fun ways to encourage participation.
The Big Five or a Great Workplace
These hundreds of activities were built around something we call “The Big 5”. I thought it might be useful to make a moment to explain in more detail what “The Big 5” actually is, and why it’s so important.
We didn’t make this stuff up. This is based on tons of research, and studying successful cultures inside some of the greatest companies in the world.
All of these companies really take a holistic view of company culture, and focus on 5 core areas. They are:
It’s important to note that there’s really not a huge focus on any one single topic, but instead a good balance of these five. Let me give a few examples of each to explain it a bit better.
1. Employee Wellness
For employee wellness, companies will promote lots of initiatives like offering to pay for gym memberships, potentially offering standing desks, things like that.
Something I’d like to see more of out of companies is educating their employees about the importance of wellness.
Most employees go to work without eating breakfast, and don’t eat any food until lunch time. Not only is this bad for the body, but it’s bad for productivity.
I’ve seen a few companies offering free fruit to the employees, but more needs to be done. Incentivizing employees to be healthier is crucial.
2. Productivity at Work
For productivity, these can be things like managing your schedule around tasks, blocking out all distractions as you’re working, and really any little trick (some people call these “hacks”) to make yourself more efficient and productive. Companies and employees can use the Officevibe platform to incentivize these types of productivity boosters.
3. Social collaboration
For a social atmosphere, these are usually team building activities that can be done inside or outside the office. So things like eating lunch with co-workers, going out for a drink with your teammates, really anything to make your office more human.
Here at Officevibe, when a new employee joins the team, one of the first activities they need to complete inside the Officevibe platform is having lunch with a colleague.
This is a really smart way to jumpstart that employee’s integration into the team. It’s very possible that a new employee might be too shy to do something like that on his or her own, but with the platform, through incentives, it happens much faster.
4. Eco-friendly initiatives
A clean environment is both about inside your office, and outside. So making sure that all the employees recycle, or are using reusables is important to keep the environment healthy and clean. Again, encouraging this type of behaviour is important to the overall culture.
5. Generosity at Work
A generous company is all about giving back. If you’re not doing this within your company yet, I would highly recommend it. It’s a great way to make employees feel more of a sense of team, or family. It’s great for everyone to rally around a cause together, so this is also an important part of a strong company culture.
What’s nice is that companies can use the Officevibe platform to manage these initiatives in a structured way.
It’s possible that companies are already doing a lot of these activities, but are maybe scattered all over the place, and there’s no real structure.
I’ve also seen certain cases where there are mini initiatives being done in small pockets of an organization, but people in other departments don’t know about it.
How Can Employees Become More Engaged?
For employees that are looking to become more engaged, I would definitely recommend reading Dan Pink’s book called “Drive”, it talks a lot about what truly motivates people.
If you’re not into reading, watch his TED talk instead:
He talks about three important things that employees should focus on to get the most out of their work experience. These three things are Mastery, Autonomy, and Purpose. I’ll explain each one of these in more detail, because it’s important to understand.
The first one is mastery. No matter which sector you work in, there is always one thing that you like doing. Focus on that and find a way to master it to a point where the goals that you set are for yourself instead of just being told by somebody else to do something.
Let’s say your boss is like, “You’ve got to reach that number”; it’s not only about that. It’s about personal exploration of what you like and what you can do. That’s one great way to stay motivated.
The second one would be autonomy.It’s very important to find a context in which you can freely explore what you want to master.
Whether it is by making sure that you can explore a few side projects or working on a different project within your company, that’s something that you’ve really got to focus on. If you need to talk to your boss about it or your colleagues, I think it’s something that really drives a lot more engagement.
That’s why I think there is the famous 20% time at Google, where they have one day they can freely explore some side activities. That’s just one example. It can be different things, and every company has their own culture.
Finally, the other one is purpose. The real question is ‘What’s your why? Why do you do what you do? What really impassions you?’
Obviously, the ideal situation would be having you working with a company that has a ‘why’ that is aligned with your ‘why’, whether it is finding a way to revolutionize transport, communications, or marketing. Find something that really represents something that’s important for you.
What do you think makes ideal employee engagement program?
Share some tips in the comments!